Sinai Bedouins to hold meeting on protection of tourists

Dalia Farouk, Monday 27 Feb 2012

Bedouin leader hopes meeting of tribes will be first step towards ending spiraling violence in the restive desert region

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Bedouins in Sinai (Photo: Reuters)

Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh of the Sinai desert's Mazina tribe – who also serves as head of a tribal coalition – is to conduct a meeting with other tribes on Thursday to address a number of issues affecting the region.

The meeting will be an informal session to discuss the protection of tourists and the recent spate of robberies at banks and money exchanges.

Saleh said the Bedouin community at large rejects attempts by the media and authorities to tarnish its image.

He stressed that South Sinai was one of the few regions of Egypt that did not experience a security vacuum during the 25 January Revolution, due to Bedouin initiatives to protect their communities and institutions.  

Sinai is a volatile region that shares a border with Israel. The local Bedouin community has often complained of neglect by the Egyptian government. Al-Arish in north Sinai has witnessed 12 attacks on the gas pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan.

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